Either way there is the briefest of pauses before the burst of energy impressively accelerates the car
There are two engine choices for the Mazda MX-5; the 126PS 1.8i and the 160 PS 2.0i; both are petrol and both have been revised to produce less emissions and better fuel consumption. The 1.8 is available in SE trim only and is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The various tweaks have reduced the CO2 emissions by 7g/km from 174- to 167g/km and improved the fuel consumption from 38.7- to 40.4mpg.
This combination starts the pricing at £16,345 and in most cases the hard top adds £2,000 to these prices. The Mazda MX-5 base model now features standard items that used to be optional extras. The specification now comprises alloy wheels, powered and heated door mirrors, powered windows, leather-trimmed gearknob and steering wheel, stainless steel scuff plates, a radio/CD player with six speakers and an AUX jack. Safety features include ABS with EBD front airbags and a Thatcham Category 1 alarm and immobiliser system.
The 2.0i unit produces 160PS at 7,000rpm and 188Nm at 5,000rpm. When mated to one of the manual transmissions these outputs allow a top speed of 132mph and a 0-62mph time of 7.6 seconds for the soft-top: 136mph and 8.9 seconds for the Roadster Coupe.
At SE level, the 2.0i adds Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), a Traction Control System (TCS), a Limited Slip Differential (LSD) and side airbags for £17,345.
The same engine in Sport Tech trim is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and adds a front suspension strut brace, Bilstein shock absorbers, front fogs, 17-inch alloys and heated leather seats, climate control air-conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and BOSE sound system with a 6CD changer and seven speakers. It does bear a price of £19,695, but this is a well-founded reflection of the extra quality of materials, goodies and spirit.
The Mazda MX-5 2.0i PowerShift tops the range at £20,195 and was the test car. Apart from all of the Sport Tech items, it adds a 6-speed sequential and automatic gearbox with paddle shifts on the steering wheel. Unusually, the rear, finger-paddles are used for shifting up and the two thumb paddles are for downshifts.
The various methods can be used in combination; for instance a swift up-change in full automatic mode can be achieved by using either the paddles or the shift lever. Either way there is the briefest of pauses before the burst of energy impressively accelerates the car.
Used with care, twisting lanes can become a playground in which to explore the Mazda MX-5's agility and composure. Thus proving that it has lost nothing of its appeal and fun, over the years and is still as good as it ever was.9 November 2009
Mazda MX-5 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Mazda Mazda MX-5 2.0i PowerShift|
|Colour||Metropolitan Grey Mica|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||8.5 seconds|
|Top Speed||132 mph|
|Transmission||6-Speed Sequential Automatic|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||46.3 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 09/11/09)||£20,195|